Ashcroft appoints interim US attorney for southern Ill.

Fairview Heights, IL – Attorney General John Ashcroft Tuesday appointed Richard Byrne as the interim US attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Byrne's appointment is effective immediately.

As a deputy US attorney, Byrne had already been filling in after former US Attorney Miriam Miquelon quit as southern Illinois' top federal prosecutor in July.

Byrne is a 39-year-old graduate of Duke University School of Law. He worked for the Justice Department's anti-trust division before transferring to the US attorney's office in southern Florida. There he focused on drug enforcement and stopping drug trafficking.